GIR hits $69-B in June, up slightly from May


Posted at Jul 07 2011 02:08 PM | Updated as of Jul 07 2011 10:08 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The country's gross international reserves (GIR) rose slightly to $68.996 billion in June from the revised $68.853 billion in May, the central bank reported Thursday.

The GIR could cover 10.3 months worth of imports and was equivalent to 5.9 times the Philippines' short-term foreign debt based on residual maturity.

In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the rise in foreign exchange reserves was mainly due to forex operations and income from investments abroad.

The inflows were partly offset by government debt payments and revaluation losses on BSP's gold holdings.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco said on Wednesday the central bank may end 2011 with record foreign exchange reserves of over $70 billion.

Remittances, foreign portfolio investments, and investments in business process outsourcing will continue to drive foreign currency inflows into the country, BSP had said.

Net portfolio inflows in May were $364 million, down from the previous month's $674 million, bringing net inflows in the first five months of the year to $2.01 billion, nearly triple from a year earlier.

The central bank, meanwhile, cut its growth forecast for remittances this year to 7% from an original estimate of 8%. Remittance growth is seen to slow further to 5% next year. - With a report from Reuters